Romeo's Rachel Mac finishes fourth on NBC's 'The Voice'

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

After a star-turning run on NBC's hit singing competition, "The Voice," 16-year-old Rachel Mac of Romeo on Tuesday fell just short of winning it all.

Mac, a 10th grader at Romeo High School, finished fourth during the live finale, losing in the end to grand prize winner Cam Anthony, 19, of Philadelphia. She was the youngest competitor of the five finalists and the only girl still competing. 

"No matter what happens, thank you for giving me the opportunity to sing my lil' heart out on the stage every week," wrote Mac on Instagram early Tuesday. 

Rachel Mac performs Lee Ann Womack's hit, "I Hope You Dance," during the first part of the finale for "The Voice."

Mac beat out thousands and made it through multiple rounds in Season 20 of "The Voice" for her chance at a recording contract. Describing herself as an indie folk singer-songwriter, she sang a mix of hits and was candid with viewers about her struggles with depression, bullying and being raised by a single parent. She lives with her dad in Romeo.

Mac said in some ways, the pandemic had actually helped her. She's been attending 10th grade virtually.

"Honestly, COVID, the pandemic, really helped me in that I wasn't surrounded by any of these factors, or people, that were putting me down anymore," said Mac. "I had time to work on myself and work on healing. I think that was really important for me."

Mac's small hometown of Romeo, about an hour north of Detroit, meanwhile, rallied around the teen during her "Voice" run, posting supportive messages on business signs and in windows. One restaurant hosted a viewing party on Monday.

"Congratulation, Rachel Mac!" read a message painted in the window of the local Dairy Queen. "Keep Going!"

Kendra Knoblock, the head of Romeo High School's drama department who cast Mac in her first musical last year before it was canceled because of COVID, said Mac is a star no matter what.

"She has a gift and a passion, and hopefully thanks to the exposure on 'The Voice' she will have the opportunity to fulfill her dreams," said Knoblock. "Either way she is coming home a winner."

Rachel Mac of Romeo records the songs, "I Hope You Dance" and "The Chain," she performed in "The Voice" finale. Both songs are available to purchase.

Nick Jonas, Mac's coach, also called Mac a superstar. He chose Mac in the battle rounds, which allowed her to keep competing, and was the only judge to turn his chair for her in the blind auditions. On Tuesday's show, he and Mac performed a duet, singing the Foo Fighters' "Best of You."

"You have so much depth as an artist, as a person," said Jonas during Monday's show. "You work so hard. I'm so proud to be your coach. And I am so proud to be able to go on this journey with you and watch you grow into a superstar."

Before the final decision Tuesday, Mac thanked Jonas for believing in her, even sometimes when she couldn't believe in herself.

"I've learned so much from you that I know I will take outside of the show no matter what happens," said Mac.

Rachel Mac stands with her coach, Nick Jonas, during the semifinals of NBC's "The Voice."

In between rehearsals and media interviews last week, Mac, who was one of three Michigan competitors this season, Detroit's Zania Alaké and Adrian's Rio Doyle were eliminated in earlier rounds, said she was looking forward to the future and the opportunities that may come regardless of Tuesday's outcome. 

"I'm excited for what's after the show," said Mac last week. "Either I win and get all the rewards that come with that. And if I don't, there are still possible rewards lined up. I'm optimistic."